In A Nutshell

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Despite being diagnosed with Fibromyalgia about a decade ago, I was able to work and lead a "normal" life, until I became severely ill with MS type symptoms one month after being laid off in June 2009, which meant no health insurance to properly address the problem. I spent 3 days in the hospital but since they initially did not want to keep me (one doc said I may have MS, but was overruled), I did not qualify for the financial aid for hospital bills because they did not think I belonged there. I was misdiagnosed with Labyrintits and sent on my way. I was told it would go away in a few weeks, that was 3 years ago and I have had the symptoms of dizziness, balance problems, vertigo, and pain every day since then. I went to a local free health clinic until they told me they exhausted all their options and could not help me any longer. I cannot drive nor work outside the home and only walk briefly with the aid of a cane, but also can't get disability because I have no real diagnosis for these particular symptoms. These are the chronicles of my (so far) dead-end journey riddled with bodies of good intentions.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Celebrating Life

What would you do on your birthday and do you remember your milestone birthdays? While there probably are as many answers as there are people answering the question, one item probably would not make the top of the list: blogging. Yet, I chose to do that for my 44th birthday.

The funny, or sad thing (you decide) is that I can't remember any of my important ones, not the 18th, not the 21st, not the 30th. The one thing I remember about  my 40th is that I received a phone call saying I may have cervical cancer. Further tests revealed that I did not, luckily.

So, since none of us know if we'll make it to the next one (not being morbid, just saying that we should be grateful for each day we have) I decided to launch this. I should have done this from the beginning, but as they say, it ain't easy.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Dignity is for People with Health Insurance

It's time to try a new avenue once again. I am at the end of my thyroid prescription. I made it last twice as long because I only take half a dose. Yes, all medically trained people will yell at me for that, but it is what it is. Can't just call in a refill, because you have to see a doctor regularly because they will only give you so many refills. Plus, I still have to pay for the prescription. However, my paperwork for the free clinic expired a while back. Despite what  many may think or Dr.Oz says, you don't just walk into a clinic. You have to make an appointment first for a financial intake, then, if you qualify, make a separate appointment. Often just obtaining the first appointment can take months.

I wanted to see if there was another local free clinic because the one I went to said they exhausted their options in regards to trying to diagnose my balance and vertigo problems. I went online and saw another one (Crossover Ministries), so I called it. Much to my relief, she simply asked me a few yes or now questions.

"Do you have any income?"

"No." (It's much easier to say that than explain that I make money by writing, but not enough to make a living really. I do tell the whole story at the actual appointment, I found it's better this way)

"Did you file taxes for 2010?"

"No." (I did the calculations, but found out I would only get back $48 dollars so did not file for that year)

"Is family financially supporting you?"


"Are you on food stamps?"


"Are you on Medicaid?"


That was it, luckily she did not question any of my answers and I got  my appointment for January 18, 2012, the earliest she could give me. I told her I would run out of my prescription before then, so she gave me the number for Care-A-Van. She said they provide services, but move around to different locations each day and as soon as I found out where they would be, I should immediately show up. I can read and hear between the lines, so the translation probably is:  "Lines will be long, there are no guarantees that you will be seen, and please leave your dignity at home."

Since I have to find someone to drive me there, I have put that option on the back burner as I do not want to subject someone to that inconvenience unless I absolutely have to.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Oh Snap

Now, I am not a person easily offended and I like to think I have thick enough skin. After all, as a writer that is almost a requirement because constructive criticism is the salt in the spread that butters a writer's bread. But, I was really put off when I saw the following tweet by one of my "followers:" 

I think Food stamp card is called SNAP cause the person next in line thinks. "oh SNAP!! she is paying with MY MONEY!!!

Even if it was meant as a joke, there is nothing funny about that. Besides, many of the people using food stamps have been contributing members of society or are even still working. Read about it on Reuters.

I looked up the sender and she is a registered nurse with a Master's Degree. While I know that the right thing to do would be to just ignore and forgive the ignorance, I can't help but wish a situation on her that will make her have to use food stamps one day. All it takes would be one tree through her house, one layoff, one divorce, or one illness.

Who would be saying oh snap then?